About the Author: Fred Plumer

After an extensive background in building management, real estate development and restaurant ownership and management, Fred Plumer made a career shift in 1981. He earned his M.Div. degree at the Pacific School of Religion while doing work in an inner city community center. In 1984 Rev. Plumer was called to the Irvine United Congregational Church in Irvine, California to lead a UCC new start church. The church became known throughout the denomination as one of the more exciting and progressive mid-size congregations in the nation. Rev. Plumer served on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC) for five years, and chaired the Commission for Church Development and Evangelism for three of those years. In that time the Southern California Conference put in place one of the most aggressive church development plans in its history. Rev. Plumer regularly gives workshops on church growth. He became a member of the Executive Council for The Center for Progressive Christianity in 1995 and has written The Study Guide for TCPC’s “eight points.” He has had several articles published on church development, building faith communities and redefining the purpose of the enlightened Christian Church. Always interested in the latest and best scholarship, Rev. Plumer has been involved with the Jesus Seminar since his graduate work in the early eighties. Rev. Plumer was the executive producer of a video and workbook on the Open and Affirming process in the UCC. This highly acclaimed video, "A Journey of Faith," has now been used in five countries and in thousands of churches of several denominations as a teaching tool for those interested in studying the subject of the church and sexual orientation issues. In 1990 he was the recipient of ECCO’s Humanitarian Award for his work in this area. Rev. Plumer has been active in the inter-faith dialogue since his seminary years. In 1989 under his leadership the UCC church agreed to host a small group of Jews who wanted to start a Reconstructionist Synagogue. The congregations shared space, operating expenses, teaching forums, mission outreach projects, special services and meals for over 15 years. The synagogue became one of the fastest growing congregations in the nation with nearly five hundred families when they found it necessary to build their own facility. The unique relationship between the two congregations was the subject of numerous newspaper articles and radio talk shows providing Rev. Plumer many opportunities to speak of the importance of inter-religious dialogue. In 2000 with the support of the synagogue, a Mosque joined in this unique mix of religious traditions sharing space and ideas. The new relationship was covered by numerous newspapers, two talk shows and was a special feature that ran on CNN news, Christmas Eve and Christmas day.In September of 2004 Rev. Plumer retired from the Irvine church so he could devote more time to writing and his passion - reclaiming the message of Jesus. In January of 2006 after Jim Adams, founder of TCPC retired as President, Fred was elected as the new President.
  • By Published On: December 18, 2019

    After over twenty-five years as an active board member and nearly fifteen years as President, I’m passing the baton to the next generation. I couldn’t be more excited! I’m grateful for our leadership and staff and the vision they have for where this movement needs to go. As a fellow donor, it is to you that I extend my gratitude. You have helped co-create and sustain this wonderful organization that is changing the world for the better.

  • By Published On: September 5, 2019

    I have months to live. I'm not too hooked into christian symbolism but I would like to communicate with a person.

  • By Published On: January 6, 2019

    I just finished "Unbelievable" and found many things in the book that I was unaware that I believed. I am curious to know how you feel about/reconcile people who are truly evil or unrepentantly evil like child abusers/pornographers. I can deal with people whose belief systems are different than mine but not with people who purposefully hurt other people, especially children. Some even believe it is their right to do so.
How can we love these people wastefully?

  • By Published On: May 10, 2018

    I have a lot of respect for the non-literal interpretation of the New and Old Testament, but there are certain parts that I cannot see any metaphorical value in.
 My stumbling blocks are these:
 1. What is the metaphorical message given by the genealogy found in genesis and in the gospels? It is the former that precisely gives young earth creationists their earth age.
 2. What is the metaphorical value of the various horrific laws laid down in Deuteronomy or Leviticus? I can’t see a non-literal interpretation of telling us to destroy people who have sex if a woman is on her period.

  • By Published On: May 10, 2018

    While traditional Christian congregations continue their gradual decline, I'm often asked, "Well, how is Progressive Christianity doing?" Other than your comment, "It is growing" I have no credible answer to that. If indeed, PC is growing, I am happy to hear that, but to what extent is it growing? I've been attending the Jesus Seminars on the road for many years, and have noticed a definite decline in attendance, particularly among the youth. The millennials do not seem interested. What does that say about the possible future of the PC movement?

  • By Published On: February 26, 2018

    One suspects that some institutional churches are still AFRAID if reality demands that scriptures are not to be taken literally.  Why?

  • By Published On: December 11, 2017

    Sir, with all due respect, you shared well concerning how Jesus did not die because of sins. Please share your views on the reason or why Jesus died.

  • By Published On: October 9, 2017

    Do you have any reliable estimates of the number of Christians worldwide who do not subscribe to the viewpoint that "salvation comes only through Jesus Christ”?

  • By Published On: August 15, 2017

    The truth of the matter is that nowhere in the entire Bible are the terms “immortal” or “everlasting” linked with the word “soul.” Although it can be confusing because of our common usage of the word soul today, scriptures state very clearly that a soul is mortal, meaning that it dies. (Ezekiel 18:4, 20) Therefore, the Bible calls someone who has died, simply a “dead soul.”—Leviticus 21:11.

  • By Published On: July 12, 2017

    Boy you are asking a tough question that begs for a good response. I suppose that is why this ended up on my desk. Frankly the choice would depend on the level of sophistication of your group.

  • By Published On: May 24, 2017

    Yes, the idea the Jesus died for our sins, or sinful nature, is really one of the causes for so many people turning their backs on Christianity today.

  • By Published On: April 11, 2017

    I have used the term “God” here several times to explain how we became more patriarchal. But the truth be told, no one has been able to decide where the word God came from or how long ago. The word God is a relatively new European invention, which was never used in any of the ancient Judeo-Christian scripture manuscripts that were written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek or Latin. Scholars tend to agree that is was sometime in the 6th century, probably in the Germanic culture and a derivation of the word, gudan.

  • By Published On: June 22, 2016

      View Video of Fred's Sermon at IUCC on June 12th, 2016 My story starts 35 years ago when I entered seminary. Pacific

  • By Published On: May 11, 2016

    From a rich lode of speeches, articles in eBulletins, and numerous publications, Fred Plumer has mined those that define the Progressive Christianity movement as it evolves to meet new challenges in a rapidly changing world.

  • by James Armstrong

    By Published On: March 22, 2016

      For the many churches that have asked us for a book with calls to Worship and other liturgies, we now have an

  • By Published On: January 20, 2016

    John Robinson takes on a challenge that befuddles most of us in this interesting and even challenging book, Breakthrough. How does a scientist, or in this case a psychologist, deal with someone who has had a deeply, life changing spiritual experience, and yet has had no religious or spiritual experience himself. Most professional psychologist are not trained for this kind of thing, and Tom was no exception.

  • By Published On: September 14, 2015

    Gretta represents a small but growing number of clergy who are best described as courageous. The have spoken the truth when others too often fumble for words or refuse to look any deeper than their online sermons.

  • By Published On: September 4, 2015

    Today was a sad day. My wife and I just returned from the memorial service of Tom Thresher. If you are surprised you should be. One moment he was a vital 66 year old man and four weeks later he died from acute pancreatic cancer.

  • By Published On: June 23, 2015

    I have always suspected it is a chicken and egg phenomenon. What comes first? Personal transformation leads to the desire, or need even, to transform something in the world. Or do our efforts to change something that is unjust, something that causes suffering in the world lead to a personal and spiritual transformation?

  • By Published On: June 22, 2015

    This book ... is about doing something new and it is not going to be simple for a lot of people. It is about changing the way we learn, the way we think and the way we relate. It is about going deeper than most people are used to going in our competitive, goal driven society. The book is designed for those in small groups who sincerely want to dive more deeply into the profound wisdom of their traditions to make essential personal changes in their lives through a growing awareness.

  • By Published On: April 22, 2015

    For the last several decades it is been clear to me that one of the primary goals of the Jesus path is a profound spiritual experience of Oneness with all life. At times I have used terms such as becoming awake to the interconnectedness or interdependency of all creation and creatures. Admittedly, these are only words which attempt to describe an awareness which defies an exact or precise definition. Other spiritual teachers had different ways of describing this phenomenon, though they may have emphasized different steps to experience it. In all cases, a common objective from all the great and enlightened teachers is learning how to live on this earth with awareness that we are all part of one living organism.

  • The 8 Points By Which We Define Progressive Christianity

    By Published On: March 27, 2015

    Jesus was very clear in a variety of passages that if we want to experience this Realm of the Infinite Mystery or have a direct experience of the Divine Presence, we will need to reach out and take risks on behalf of those who suffer. “Pick up your cross if you want to follow me,” he was supposed to have said. So he talks about the Good Samaritan who risked his life to help the wounded Jew lying on the side of the road. He models with his own life a willingness to turn the tables in the Temple because of the unjust exchange rate the money changers were charging the poor Jews who had no perfect animal to sacrifice. He eventually showed us we should not even fear death when we are seeking justice for those who have no hope. And he went into Jerusalem to protest the injustices of the Roman and Priestly treatment of his people.

  • By Published On: March 16, 2015

    The truth is no one really has any idea what we mean when we use the term God. And when we use he and she or father or even “father/mother” we are just using terms that the ancient people used. We have to remember that they thought the world was flat and God was in the sky. They believed we could see god through the dome they believed covered the earth at night when they were in fact looking at stars that may have been 300 million miles away. They may very well have been “seeing” light from a star that had burned out several million years before.

  • By Published On: February 25, 2015

    I know of no spiritual path which does not presume some kind of significant personal transformation will occur if followed and practiced. By transformation, I mean to experience a change in our understanding of what is real and discovering who and what we really are as humans in this universe. The language may be different, the steps in a different order, the emphasis slightly unique. But I have found there are far more similarities than there are differences between most of the well-known traditions. Their common goal is to learn how to live with a wide awake mind, an open heart and an absence of suffering. For many it also means cultivating the experience of joy.